Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Audiobook Review: Half Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older

Published 2015 by Roc
Challenges: New in 2015
Rating: 7/10

I don't read a ton of urban fantasy, but it's a subgenre that I'm probing. I have several books from the genre in my to-be-read queue. My experience so far has been limited to single novels (like the excellent Brown Girl in the Ring) and couple of ongoing series (Dresden Files and The Petticoat Protectorate), but, adding Half Resurrection Blues to that list I am beginning to see a pattern: When a book is anticipated to be the first book in a series, that book is spent getting over the protagonist's back-story. Once they have accomplished this, the character can really spread out in their world and the books get better and better.

In Half Resurrection Blues, Carlos de la Cruz, a half-dead soul-catcher for The Council of the Dead must face a threat intimately connected to his own past. By learning how he died, he can begin to understand how to defeat a villain who wants to tear down the walls between life and death.

The Brooklyn of the book, peopled with all the variety of ethnicities, backgrounds, and personalities that many books ignore, is vivid and lively. Even the many ghosts who inhabit the city add to a feeling of life.

This book was not perfect, but in perspective of a series and as a follow up to Salsa Nocturna (which I thoroughly enjoyed) it was good. Daniel José Older does his own narration, which turned out to be an excellent choice. He brings Carlos to life and gives the narration a rhythm that another narrator might not have captured. Not only will I be moving on to the next book in this series, but if Older is the narrator, I will make sure it's the audiobook version.

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